Researching Myrrh

538513474_e818f2676eBilly Williams

Did you know that there are literally hundreds of herbs that make up the Chinese medicine materia medica? Myrrh is just one of our herbs.

Interested in learning more about the history of myrrh as medicine? Check out what someone from my alma mater is learning about myrrh here.

Advertisements

Guess What Month November Is?

Pears by Marshed
Pears, a photo by Marshed on Flickr.

Each month of the year has a connection to a particular organ of the body according to traditional Chinese medicine. Simply speaking, each month provides a chance for you to do something nice for that organ. November is lung month and as you might have guessed from this entry’s picture, pears are a nice thing to do for your lungs.

Take your favorite type of pear and core it. Fill the center with honey and steam until soft. The next step: enjoy!

This recipe is particularly good for lungs that feel dry, if you have a dry cough, if you live in a dry climate that dehydrates you easily. (Get the idea that pears hydrate?) They are also good anytime after a cold or if you just have a persistent cough.

Here are the other months of the year and their organs:

January-gallbladder
February-urinary bladder
March-stomach
April-large intestine
May-small intestine
June-san jiao (I know- what the heck is a san jiao? Use this month to do something great for your lymph system)
July- kidney
August-spleen
September-liver
October-pericardium (considered a separate organ in TCM)
November- lung
December-heart

At The Cutting Edge Of The Future Of Healthcare

Have you ever considered how health care evolves over time? The health care practiced today is very different from health care of the past.  Asking what health care means brings many responses. Health care as a term encompasses many kinds of health “interventions”. Acupuncture, as part of traditional Chinese medicine, is certainly an important part of today’s health care. Check out the link below to see what’s happening on other fronts:

 

http://www.plminstitute.org/

What Kind Of Tree Are You?

Elm Tree by kevinkpc - (Catching Up)
Elm Tree, a photo by kevinkpc – (Catching Up) on Flickr.

When patients are trying to figure out traditional Chinese medicine’s angle on human health I often end up explaining by using an analogy of a person being a tree.

You can be whatever kind of tree you want to be. Your chief concern(s) are like a limb (or limbs if you have more than one issue). If we are considering only the limb in question, it looks like the limb is an independent thing. Likewise, multiple limbs look independent of each other. Everyone knows however, that the limb isn’t the whole tree. In fact, the limb doesn’t exist without the rest of the tree. All limbs originate from the same trunk and root system. An acupuncturist is always considering the limb(s) but also the entire tree. When we are formulating a treatment plan we can treat just the limb(s) in question, just the roots of the issue or a combination of both. When treating the “root’ causes of an issue, often not only does the limb of concern improve but the entire tree begins to thrive.

What kind of tree are you?

What Does Acupuncture Treat?

Ginseng Oolong by chadao
Ginseng Oolong, a photo by chadao on Flickr.

Many patients are surprised by the answer to their question: What does acupuncture treat? You might be surprised too. Here’s just a short, incomplete list of things that herbal medicine and acupuncture address:

abdominal pain
acne
allergies
alopecia
Alzheimer’s
amenorrhea
angina
ankle pain
anxiety
arthritis
asthma

back pain
BPH
bronchitis
bursitis

cancer
candidiasis
canker sores
carpal tunnel syndrome
cataracts

cholesterol-high

chronic fatigue syndrome
common cold
conjunctivitis
constipation
cough
Crohn’s disease

depression
diabetes
diarrhea
dysmenorrhea

ear infection
early menstrual cycle
eczema
edema
endometriosis
eye pain

fever
fibroids
fibromyalgia
flu
focus
fungal infections

gastric pain
glaucoma
GERD
goiter
gout

hair loss
headache
hearing loss
heart disease
hemorrhoids
herpes
hiccup
hip pain
hypertension
hyper/hypothyroidism
hypochondriac pain
hypomenorrhea

immune deficiencies
impotence
incontinence
indigestion
infantile cough
infantile diarrhea
infertility
insomnia
irritability
IBS
itching
insufficient lactation
irregular/late/early/ lack of menstruation

jaundice

knee pain

leg pain
leukorrhea
low libido

mastitis
memory issues
menopausal imbalances
morning sickness
multiple sclerosis
muscle tension

neck pain (any musculoskeletal pain)
nosebleed

obesity

pain
palpitations
Parkinson’s disease
PCOS
PID
PMS

rhinitis/sinusitis

sciatica
shoulder pain
smoking addiction
sore throat
stress
stroke

tendonitis
tinnitus
TMJ
toothache

UC
upper respiratory tract infection
UTI
urticaria

varicose veins
vertigo

warts
women’s and men’s health issues

Have a question about a condition you don’t see listed? Call the office-

Qi Gong

Want a great, take-with-you-anywhere meditative workout? Qi-gong is the thing for you!
The qi of qi gong often is translated as the non-static relationship between matter and energy. It’s the same qi your acupuncturist is always talking about. The gong of qi gong can translate as power used for results. Qi gong is a mindful practice that is not only a great workout but you also regulate the qi within you through your mind/body connection. Great qi means great health- a subject near and dear to any acupuncturist’s heart.

There are 4 categories of qi gong: dynamic, static, meditative and a fourth group that uses outside “tools” to achieve balanced qi. Dynamic qi-gong is the most easily recognized form here in the U.S. These forms use choreographed movements to cultivate and regulate qi. Tai chi is the martial arts form of dynamic qi gong (think Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid” intoning: “Wax on! Wax off!”). Dynamic qi gong is  prescribed here at the office for many issues including increasing immunity or decreasing fatigue. In contrast, static qi gong makes and balances qi by holding specific postures. Meditative qi gong includes the tools that you would expect such as visualization and breath work. Using herbs and bodywork, as well as other tools for qi gong propagation, is the fourth type.

Qi gong is an important tool in traditional Chinese medicine; we use it to avoid and to treat disease. It’s used in martial arts to train participants. Taoists and Buddhists use it for meditation and Confucian scholars have long used it to better their characters.

Explore what qi gong can offer you-

Check out the links below for more information.

Wikipedia– qi gong

Tai Chi short form– don’t be put off by the spoken Chinese in this video- it’s only a short introduction. This is an excellent example of Tai Chi short form and is certainly not as easy as this demonstrator makes it look.

8 Form Tai Chi– good to use anywhere (outside is great) and especially if you only have a few minutes.

Medical Culture Musings

Today I was musing about the differences  between the current mainstream medical culture here in the States and how different things have been in the past.  Did you know that historically in China acupuncturists were paid a retainer while a patient stayed healthy but as soon as a patient became sick, the acupuncturist received no payment until the patient became healthy again?  Can you imagine what today’s healthcare industry would be like if the same rule was applied? What would it be like if the emphasis was on maintaining good health rather than waiting until a problem showed up to do damage control? There are some statistics which show that more money is spent on heroic medical measures in the last three days of a person’s life than all the money spent on health during the person’s life. Health isn’t only about spending money, but when needed, wouldn’t it be great to lower the balloon payment at the end of life and use some of that money during life?